River. Image by Tim Hill from Pixabay
Latest Outlook
Hydrological Outlook summary map for July 2021

July 2021 Hydrological Outlook

Period: From July 2021      Issued on 08.07.2021 using data to the end of June 2021

The outlook for July and for the July–September period is for river flows to be normal to below normal for northern areas of the UK, and normal to above normal elsewhere. Groundwater levels in July, and for the next three months, are likely to be normal to above normal across most of the UK, the exception being the far south of England where normal to below normal levels are expected.


June saw a reversal of the usual rainfall gradient: it was very dry across northern and western Britain, with less than a third of the typical rainfall in some areas, and very wet in south-east England, where some areas experienced twice the typical June rainfall.

The rainfall outlook for July (issued by the Met Office on 28.06.2021) suggests an increased chance of dry conditions compared to normal. Over the three month period to September, a similar picture is seen.

River flows:

River flows in June were below normal in parts of northern England, north Wales and Northern Ireland. Flows were above normal across much of southern England and parts of east Anglia.

River flows in July are likely to show a similar spatial contrast to June. Normal to below normal flows are expected across northern areas, with below normal flows being most likely in parts of Scotland. Normal to above normal flows are expected elsewhere, with the highest likelihood of above normal flows being for the far south-east of England. A similar picture is seen for the June-September period, but with a higher likelihood of normal flows across the UK.


Groundwater levels in June showed a mixed picture. Below normal levels in the Chalk of the far south contrasted with mostly normal to above normal levels in the Chalk further north. In most other aquifers, levels were normal to above normal.

The July outlook is broadly similar to the pattern for June. Normal to below normal levels are likely to persist in parts of the south, but elsewhere normal to above normal levels are expected. Over the three month timeframe the outlook is similar, but with levels at more locations tending towards normal.

Note that due to continuing issues with data access, no data are available for Scotland